Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)

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Teach your dog to stop well on command (three part tutorial).

Thumbnail image for our Stopping the Dog tutorials video. The sheep are in the training ring, and Andy is walking towards sheepdog Dulcie.

The three completely revised tutorials delve into the thorny issue of getting your dog to stop, in much more detail than the earlier versions. They explain why your dog doesn't want to stop, and what you can do to make it more likely that the dog will heed your stop command when you give it. Part three takes a close look at how you can get a good stop on your dog without damaging its confidence.

The videos encourage you to look closely at your relationship with your dog, especially the amount of respect the dog has for you as its leader, and whether your actions might be making the dog more excited.

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

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Things you can do to make your dog work more steadily

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: How can I slow the dog down

Probably the most common question we get asked about sheepdog training is how to slow the dog down. Of course, there's no "quick fix" for getting a keen dog to work at a steadier pace, but you'll be surprised how many things tend to speed it up!

This video tutorial takes an in-depth look at the reasons why herding dogs often work very fast, and suggests ways to avoid or minimise them.

Once you can get your dog to work more steadily, you're well on the way to getting it trained as a useful sheep or cattle dog.

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)

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If your dog doesn't want to work, we can help you to change its mind!

Photo of a border collie clambering through a fence to get away from the sheep in the background

It's very disappointing to find that your dog doesn't seem to want to work sheep or cattle, but it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to change its mind. As with most aspects of training dogs to work stock, if you understand what's happening and why, there's a much better chance of putting things right.

In these two tutorials, we look closely at why some dogs want to work and others don't. Then we look at several proven ways of triggering the dog's work instinct.

Starting a reluctant dog

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Help boost your dog's confidence to start working sheep

Close up photo of Maisie, the dog used in this herding sheepdog training tutorial

Most dogs are over-excited when they first encounter sheep and it's up to the trainer to do their best to protect the stock. Occasionally though the dog takes no interest in the stock at all.

In this tutorial, Maisie shows no interest in sheep at first, but once the hunting instinct kicks-in, despite being a sensitive dog, she's aggressive with them.

Our video demonstrates how to limit the pressure applied by your control measures, while at the same time encouraging the dog to work.

It also shows a good example of how to get a dog to flank both ways around the sheep when the dog prefers to flank in one direction only.

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

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The importance of teaching your dog to go both ways round the stock

Just as most humans are left or right-handed, the majority of herding dogs favour working in one direction over another. It's simply a habit that can fairly easily be trained out of the dog but all too often, sheep and cattle dog handlers are not bothered if their dog will only go in one direction to gather the stock - as long as it brings them successfully. This video demonstrates the importance of training your dog to work fluently whichever way you choose to send it.

Use a reward to get training on board

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Odo was returned to us because he wouldn't get in the car!

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Use a reward to get training on board

Poor Odo went to a sheep farm, but his new owner brought him back to us because he couldn't get the dog into his car to go to work! That was a pity because Odo was working really well, and getting a dog into a vehicle is a very simple matter - if you know what to do!

Working dogs have a huge capacity for learning, but in order to learn things that we want them to do, there must be some reward in it for them. Fortunately, one of the greatest rewards you can give a sheep or cattle dog is to allow it to work the stock.

This is obviously a great help when we train a dog to work livestock, but in this tutorial Andy uses the reward of working sheep to get Odo, who is terrified of going in a vehicle, to jump in and go for a ride!

Top tips for easier training

Valuable advice for sheep and cattle dog trainers

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Top tips for easier training

Nobody would claim that training a dog to work sheep or other livestock is an easy matter. But by understanding what is going on and why, and by paying attention to just a few basic details, we can make the process so much easier for both dog and handler.

In this video Andy shows how to correct the points which will be most beneficial when you train a herding dog, but are so often missed by novice trainers.

Training Max – the Gripper (Parts 1-3)

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Part 1 - A compulsive gripper can be a big problem to train
Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Training Max the Gripper - part one

Not for the faint-hearted, this tutorial deals with one of the most difficult aspects of sheepdog training, how to cope with a very strong-willed dog which persists in violently attacking the sheep. In the first part of the video, you'll see Max at his worst despite his trainer being vigilant. Later on, Max's training becomes easier and far more rewarding. Watch the video to find out how it's done.

Part 2 - Max is making progress

After a quick recap of Max's colourful start to his training, this tutorial shows him making good progress in the training ring and even starting to bring the sheep up to the handler but he's difficult to stop.

Andy's careful to start the training session correctly to give Max the best chance of going around the sheep rather than gripping or splitting them - but can Max keep up the good work?

Part 3 - Max is almost trustworthy now!

The third and final part of our "Training Max the Gripper" tutorials sees Max working well in the training ring but then Andy decides to move the action out into the open field.

Find out how Max copes with taking the sheep out of the training ring, and whether or not he manages to get them back into it before the session ends.

Max had no training of any kind, at any time in between the lessons shown above.